Issue 1

From the ashes of the DFC rises... the Phoenix.

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ogtec
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Re: Issue 1

Post by ogtec »

Phoenix wrote:
felneymike wrote:They may even go as far as seeing it as some kind of scam.
ogtec wrote:
Phoenix wrote:
They may even go as far as seeing it as some kind of scam.
Why have you applied FM's comment to me, ogtec, and since I never said it in the first place, how have you managed to present it as a quote?
Sorry. Messed up the editing when I hit quote. The system offered lots of nested stuff so I tried to cut back and straighten out. Instead I made things worse...

My point was that people (in general, I'm not saying anyone in particular ir especially 'guilty') are starting to ascribe ulterior motives to what, on the face of it, is a muck-up by the publishers. Sorry my failure to accurately quote let me down, but the general point still stands

Phoenix
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

ogtec wrote:The system offered lots of nested stuff so I tried to cut back and straighten out.
This explanation certainly earns a place in the top 100% on my clarity scale. I'll have to disallow it though if the avatar has been allowed any kind of influence.

Matt_Baxter
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Matt_Baxter »

To the conspiracy theorists out there: there is no scam, just a few unfortunate bugs in the works which appear to be getting rectified.

Some good news. Firstly, a cracking review by Richard and (more importantly) his daughter Molly over on the Forbidden Planet blog, here:

http://forbiddenplanet.co.uk/blog/

Secondly, the all-important young readers are starting to feedback. Loads of drawings and letters beginning to arrive at Phoenix HQ. For me, it's a great pleasure to see my characters re-drawn by kids. And the letters suggest that they LOVE the arrival of a cool-looking envelope addressed to them. Kids don't get much mail, so it's a real thrill it would seem.

All very promising after those hitches.
MB

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Phoenix »

Matt_Baxter wrote:Some good news. Firstly, a cracking review by Richard and (more importantly) his daughter Molly over on the Forbidden Planet blog
I would like to believe that this review is genuine, but unfortunately it has all the hallmarks of a propaganda piece, written in all probability by someone close to the editorial team.

Raven
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

Phoenix wrote:
Matt_Baxter wrote:Some good news. Firstly, a cracking review by Richard and (more importantly) his daughter Molly over on the Forbidden Planet blog
I would like to believe that this review is genuine, but unfortunately it has all the hallmarks of a propaganda piece, written in all probability by someone close to the editorial team.

It would indeed be nice to do without so much of the frenzied "amazingly wonderfully brilliant"-type, self-congratulatory hype and propaganda from the industry with this one; in my view, it tends to marr things a bit, as it heightens expectations that the titles don't tend to live up to. Eg: I've read the Lost Boy instalment in issue two and almost nothing happens in it - it's like one panel's worth of action stretched out over two pages - yet from the FP review, its "so good", lush, lovely and intriguing, etc. A more balanced, realistic perspective might be more helpful and worthwhile.

Lew Stringer
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Phoenix wrote:I would like to believe that this review is genuine, but unfortunately it has all the hallmarks of a propaganda piece, written in all probability by someone close to the editorial team.
Raven wrote: It would indeed be nice to do without so much of the frenzied "amazingly wonderfully brilliant"-type, self-congratulatory hype and propaganda from the industry with this one; in my view, it tends to marr things a bit, as it heightens expectations that the titles don't tend to live up to. A more balanced, realistic perspective might be more helpful and worthwhile.

Well the conspiracy theories are flying thick and fast this morning. It's a shame when genuine enthusiasm and a lack of cynicism is viewed with suspicion.

I've known the writer of that review for years. He's not "close to the editorial team", he does have a young daughter (and the views he quoted would indeed be hers), and I know his review would be genuine, not manufactured "propaganda".

He may know some of the artists on The Phoenix as the UK comics industry is very small and one could easily meet and socialize with 80% of working artists/writers at a convention. (I'm not sure The Phoenix editors have attended any comic cons though.) However that does not make it a conspiracy and people still express their own genuine views about comics as can be seen from any forum or blog related to comics, including Richard's.

For the record here's my review from last week. It's quite positive so I hope it won't be seen as adding to the "propaganda". (No, I'm not close to the editors either. I've never even met them and I'm not a contributor to The Phoenix. I just genuinely think it's a good comic.):
http://lewstringer.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... x-no1.html

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

Personally, I do think you'd get more balanced and objective opinions from people who don't socialise with or know the artists (but getting friends to write your blurbs is equally common in the world of novels ...and, of course, makes said blurbs completely unreliable, but that's the game!).

I read your review when you published it, Lew - for me it's the balancing bits like "There's an aspect of The Phoenix that feels a bit like being at a posh kids' party in the 1950s, where people use phrases like "oodles" and "rip-roaring". It's not really dominant or problematic, but it's there" leavening the plaudits that make it a much more interesting and balanced review. Tempering the enthusiasm with constructive criticism raises the quality of an opinion piece to me, and over-praising something on every level doesn't really do it much good if it wants to grow and improve.

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote:Personally, I do think you'd get more balanced and objective opinions from people who don't socialise with or know the artists (but getting friends to write your blurbs is equally common in the world of novels ...and, of course, makes said blurbs completely unreliable, but that's the game!).
Again, that has no relevance to the integrity of Richard's review. Whether or not he's met some of the artists wouldn't affect his (or his 10 year old daughter's) opinions of the comic.
Raven wrote:I read your review when you published it, Lew - for me it's the balancing bits like "There's an aspect of The Phoenix that feels a bit like being at a posh kids' party in the 1950s, where people use phrases like "oodles" and "rip-roaring". It's not really dominant or problematic, but it's there" leavening the plaudits that make it a much more interesting and balanced review. Tempering the enthusiasm with constructive criticism raises the quality of an opinion piece to me, and over-praising something on every level doesn't really do it much good if it wants to grow and improve.
I wasn't sure if I should have mentioned the poshness of The Phoenix really. It may have come across as a form of reverse snobbery and the background of the creators/editors is not really relevant to the quality of the comic.

I think Richard probably has the same attitude to reviewing comics as I do. If a comic is mainly positive, focus on that, and ignore any minor flaws. There's too often a general cynicism on blogs and forums regarding comics with nitpicking that's out of proportion to the good aspects of a comic. I'm not wasting my bandwidth adding to that mindset. Obviously that's the other extreme, and you were talking about a balance, but I genuinely felt there was little to complain about regarding The Phoenix.
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Matt_Baxter
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Matt_Baxter »

Thanks for the reality check, Lew. You're absolutely right on all counts.

I came to this forum expecting lively, well leavened debate, criticism (good and bad) and passion. Sadly, despite some really interesting posts and comments, this thread is getting mired in very poorly reasoned, uninformed conjecture and unconstructive cynicism.

I'm a newby, so perhaps that's the norm.

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swirlythingy
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Re: Issue 1

Post by swirlythingy »

Here's a permalink to the Forbidden Planet review for the puzzled archive trawlers out there.

Raven, I don't understand what you mean when you say that the review shies away from any constructive criticism. Take this paragraph:
I said it with the review of issue zero, and I’ll say it again – Corpse Talk is weird. It’s quite literally author Ben Murphy digging up and then chatting to famous people – Amelia Earhart, Nikola Tesla and pirate Anne Bonny so far. Initially it’s innovative and fun, but three strips in, I’m wondering if it isn’t a little of a limiting gag?
That doesn't come across as "amazing wonderful brilliant" propaganda to me.

I know it is quite common for people (especially people working in it) to think that the UK comic industry needs a 'leg up' when writing about it by pretending it doesn't have any problems at all (since it's in such a dire state commercially that any criticism is seen as kicking it when it's down), but I don't see that here.
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Raven
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

swirlythingy wrote:Here's a permalink to the Forbidden Planet review for the puzzled archive trawlers out there.

Raven, I don't understand what you mean when you say that the review shies away from any constructive criticism. Take this paragraph:
I said it with the review of issue zero, and I’ll say it again – Corpse Talk is weird. It’s quite literally author Ben Murphy digging up and then chatting to famous people – Amelia Earhart, Nikola Tesla and pirate Anne Bonny so far. Initially it’s innovative and fun, but three strips in, I’m wondering if it isn’t a little of a limiting gag?
That doesn't come across as "amazing wonderful brilliant" propaganda to me.

If you check back though, you'll hopefully see that I wasn't - or wasn't meaning to - only directly refer to the Forbidden Planet review itself, but was speaking in general (admittedly sparked by Phoenix's comment, a quick look at the FP review, and Matt's "amazingly good"), hoping that we don't get too many exaggerated statements with The Phoenix. I was remembering the hyperbole that seemed to surround the DFC, whereas I thought at the time that a little constructive criticism might have actually helped and strengthened it.
Last edited by Raven on 16 Jan 2012, 15:20, edited 1 time in total.

Raven
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: Again, that has no relevance to the integrity of Richard's review. Whether or not he's met some of the artists wouldn't affect his (or his 10 year old daughter's) opinions of the comic.
I'd say that knowing people involved, for most people, would strongly affect their publicly stated opinions, but I'm speaking in general, not about this particular review.

Lew Stringer wrote:I wasn't sure if I should have mentioned the poshness of The Phoenix really. It may have come across as a form of reverse snobbery and the background of the creators/editors is not really relevant to the quality of the comic..
I'd say it's an interesting little observation. There's always been a divide in children's literature between the middle class and less "polite" and respectable type of entertainment, hasn't there? Action (1976-77) was, of course, aimed at a different kind of reader than some of the more "middle class" entertainments, as were many comics in general. It's interesting to see how these things turn, and to ponder what kind of reader and parent might be more likely to be turned on or off by The Phoenix, or any other comic.
Lew Stringer wrote: I think Richard probably has the same attitude to reviewing comics as I do. If a comic is mainly positive, focus on that, and ignore any minor flaws. There's too often a general cynicism on blogs and forums regarding comics with nitpicking that's out of proportion to the good aspects of a comic. I'm not wasting my bandwidth adding to that mindset. Obviously that's the other extreme, and you were talking about a balance, but I genuinely felt there was little to complain about regarding The Phoenix.
Do you not feel, though, for example, that, yes, it looks good, but that Lost Boy instalment could do with a bit more action and story? There's the interactive element, but that was common enough with old IPC serials, where'd you'd collect one clue or another at the end every week - but each instalment was still packed with dramatic incident, twisting and turning from panel to panel. In this instalment (SPOILER ALERT) basically all that happens is that a bird grabs the map out of his hands. Is that a really offensive criticism to make?

I don't want to read too much until the first issue hopefully arrives, but to balance the above, I thought Ghost Ant was good fun, and nicely written. (Matt's art is also nice!)

And I don't think any conspiracy theories are really flying thick and fast ...

Lew Stringer
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Lew Stringer »

Raven wrote: Do you not feel, though, for example, that, yes, it looks good, but that Lost Boy instalment could do with a bit more action and story? There's the interactive element, but that was common enough with old IPC serials, where'd you'd collect one clue or another at the end every week - but each instalment was still packed with dramatic incident, twisting and turning from panel to panel.
Yes, good point. I did feel it needed more progression but (and it's an important but) it still made the reader curious, eager to know what happens next. (The colouring is fantastic, bringing a real sense of heat to the beach setting I thought.)

Comparing modern storytelling to comics of 40 years ago is perhaps unfair. A) Today's children won't make that comparison and B)That method of condensed storytelling fell out of favour many years ago unfortunately as the readers gradually abandoned IPC comics in their thousands. I'm not too keen on the modern "decompressed" (ie: slow) pacing of serials either but a lot of kids are accustomed to that these days. The Lost Boy seems to be the only strip really doing that in the whole comic so overall I thought it added more variety to the comic and so in this instance was a good, rather than a bad, thing.
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Raven
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Re: Issue 1

Post by Raven »

Lew Stringer wrote: Comparing modern storytelling to comics of 40 years ago is perhaps unfair. A) Today's children won't make that comparison and B)That method of condensed storytelling fell out of favour many years ago unfortunately as the readers gradually abandoned IPC comics in their thousands.
Well, I'm not so sure it fell out of favour with readers. I'd suggest that with kids' attention spans probably much shorter now than then, even *faster* paced stories would be in order now; but, really, it's just good dramatic writing to have several plot turns per instalment. I think the long stretching out (character takes three pages to look out of a window etc.), as originating in the US titles, was more a cynical ploy on the part of the publishers to stretch stories out to five or six issues so they could be resold as "graphic novels" - the lack of movement is often dull and seems very bad value for money, and you only have to note how low sales have sunk with the US titles.

I agree about the colouring, but I wonder if that's more an artist's observation. I feel, to a kid, that the story will be the all-important thing.

Lew Stringer wrote: I'm not too keen on the modern "decompressed" (ie: slow) pacing of serials either but a lot of kids are accustomed to that these days.
Whereas I suspect that the films/TV shows/cartoons they watch are probably very fast paced indeed ...

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Re: Issue 1

Post by Richard S. »

Just got an email from Waitrose and they say.....

I have been in contact with our buyers regarding your query and they have advised us that the Phoenix Comic will be available from today in all of our branches that stock magazines.

so start looking for it!

I will reply to them once I find a copy
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